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From too many romcoms, Nollywood shifts to comedy and dance

By Shaibu Husseini
26 June 2016   |   4:27 am
Currently, comedy seems the in thing in Nollywood. It is seemingly the most popular genre among Nollywood fans.
Ali Balogun

Ali Balogun

Most of the Hollywood films that have recorded box office successes in Nigeria have often tilted towards car chases and alien invasions. But just as moviegoers spend time feasting on these movie types, producers in the Nigeria motion picture industry have found themselves hunting for themes that will move some moviegoers attention from some of the movies from the west that provide gratifying visceral jolts.

They have experimented with all sorts—from some romantic comedies that are from perfect, to crime stories that are fairly on the margin of what conventional crime stories should play out like and to stories with an odd edge of attraction including churning out some of the most annoying comedies that don’t provide moments that are worth delighting over. However, this is not to say that among the mass, there are no works that are engaging. There are. Only that most of them are far less interesting.

But ironically, it is the far less interesting movies that are raking in massive ticket sales.

Currently, comedy seems the in thing in Nollywood. It is seemingly the most popular genre among Nollywood fans. Most producers have been forced to go hunting for stories in this direction, that will guarantee them quick box office return just as Omoni Oboli’s fairly well made comic movie ‘Wives on Strike’ reportedly did.

‘’She (Omoni Oboli) shattered box office record with that comedy’’ Yusuf Bello, a freelance movie critic said. ‘She obviously produced another comedy after the success of her first comic movie ‘The First Lady’. I think they found that it is a comedy that sells now’’ Bello added. Thelma Arogundade, a movie buff believes that there is no better time to serve comedy films than this period hat she described as ‘a hard time’.

She said ’In this austere times, people want to laugh and get over the nation’s economic woes’’ she said adding ‘laughter is the best medicine. So when they are depressed, they find a place to cool off and the only thing that can help at that time especially if they are in the cinema will be to watch a comic movie and that way laugh away their pains and sorrows’’.

But there is someone who thinks it is time to change the game from comedy to dance. He is notable movie director and Chairman of the Audio Visual Rights Society (AVRS) Mahmood Ali-Balogun. The filmmaker has begun preproduction recee for his next film project which he said will be an entirely dance film, Ali-Balogun yesterday issued a call notice for an audition for the movie which he says has been conceived to attract young moviegoers and their parents to the cinema. He said of the project: ‘you will be wondering what Mahmood is doing shooting a dance movie.

But it is the story that I am attracted to. The story of love, resilience and triumph of human spirit. It is the type of narrative we should be telling and to get that across you need to put the story in a medium that will attract young people and by extension their parents and guardian’.
Ali Balogun who revealed that the audition exercise will hold as from June 28 and will last three days explained that he will be looking out for ‘actors who can dance and dancers who can act’’.

Also, he stated that the actors must ‘look between the ages of 16-25 and they may be solo or group performers’. The director of the award-winning movie ‘Tango With Me’ added ‘we shall finish audition and begin production later in September after several reviews and pre-production sessions. We shall spend sometime on post because with dance, sync must be top on your mind and everything must be in place. I anticipate a good outing’ he enthused.